The grist mill



The grist mill


The ecology in Terrebonne Parish was not conducive to most grain crops such as wheat and rice and the only grain crop that was easily grown and very productive in the 1800's was corn. Volumnia Farm has a grist mill on the farm that is now almost 200 years old and was used during the 1800's to make corn flower, corn meal, and grist. Corn bread or grist were eaten at every meal and were as a principal part of the diet as rice and bread are today.

The Dutch used the wind powered wind mills to turn the stones and in New England water-powered wheels were used but in South Louisiana in the 1800's horses and mules were used to turn the stones.

Mill stones always come in pairs, called the bed stone or bottom stone that does not turn, and the runner stone that turns on the top. The stones have groves cut into them and the grain is feed into the center. The runner stone turns and the grain is cut between the two stones and the groves slowly move the grain outward. About 1840 Bartholomew Barrow of Aston Villa built a bigger and newer grist mill and gave the old millstones (the ones that are at Volumnia Farm) to his son R.R.Barrow. The grist mill at the Farm is said to have operated until the late 1800's when new more modern cast iron farm mills became available, were simpler and easier to operate, and were turned by a steam engine. In 1911 a large one-cylinder gas engine ran several different mills used to make grist and cattle feed.